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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Jun 23, 2015

Public Interest Group Urges Subway To End Antibiotic Use In Meat (VIDEO)

An Illinois public interest group and its affiliates across the country launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday urging Subway to serve only antibiotic-free meat and poultry at its sandwich shops.

Specifically, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) is calling on Subway to "stop using meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics."

Illinois PIRG canvassers promoted the public interest group's "Subway: Go Antibiotic-Free" campaign late Tuesday morning at a Chicago Subway restaurant at 319 S. Jefferson St.

Outside the Subway location, Illinois PIRG volunteers and interns distributed flyers and asked passersby to pose for photos with signs reading, "I was craving a sub, but I wanted meat raised without antibiotics."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:42pm
Wed Aug 6, 2014

Activists Call For Restrictions On The Use Of Antibiotics In Factory Farms

Consumer rights advocates and health professionals are calling on the Obama administration to restrict the use of antibiotics on healthy factory farm animals, saying the “overuse and misuse” of antibiotics generates bacteria that are resistant to one or more classes of drugs.

“Bacteria is getting resistant to these antibiotics they’re using at factory farms, and the bacteria is then being passed to our community through the air we breathe, through water, through animal waste and through the food we eat,” said Dev Gowda, of the consumer advocacy group, Illinois PIRG. “President Obama and the FDA need to take action and essentially save antibiotics for future generations.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:56am
Mon Jul 14, 2014

Study: Vegetarian & Low Meat Diets Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

Eating less meat or none at all has the potential to significantly shrink an individual's diet-related carbon footprint and "can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation,"according to a recent study published in the journal Climatic Change.

The study examined the diets of 29,589 meat eaters, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish) and 2,041 vegans between the ages of 20 to 79 in the United Kingdom. Participants took a "food-frequency questionnaire" asking how often in the last year they consumed 130 different food items. Researchers were able to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat and warm up the planet, associated with the various foods.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:18pm
Thu Jun 19, 2014

Report: 6 Million Pounds Of Toxic Industrial Pollution Discharged Into Illinois Waterways (VIDEO)

Industrial facilities discharged 6.1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Illinois' rivers and streams in 2012, shows a new report by the Environment Illinois Research & Education Center.

The "Wasting Our Waterways" report ranks Illinois as the 13th worst U.S. state for the total volume of toxic industrial releases to waterways.

At the national level, polluting facilities dumped 206 million pounds of harmful chemicals into American waterways in 2012, according to the report. And some 8.39 million pounds of toxic pollution were discharged into the Great Lakes watershed. Ammonia, chromium and lead are among the chemicals released into Illinois' waterways, according to the report.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:11pm
Thu Feb 20, 2014

Environmentalists Call For Stricter Regulations On Factory Farms

Factory farms are one of the leading causes of pollution in Illinois’ rivers and lakes, according to a group of environmental activists who called on the state to impose stricter regulations—and even a moratorium—on industrial livestock production.

“Clean water is critical to the environment, to public health, and to the quality of life in Illinois. Factory farms seriously threaten the health of our waterways,” said Lisa Nikodem, campaign director for Environment Illinois Research and Education Center.

Environment Illinois joined organic farmers Wednesday morning at the Heartland Café, located at 7000 N. Glenwood Ave. in Chicago, to put a spotlight on water pollution caused by the large-scale release of animal waste at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), commonly called factory farms.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:19pm
Thu Jul 18, 2013

Local Groups Voice Displeasure With Kirk's Votes On Nominations

Two local groups have voiced their displeasure with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) votes on the nominations of Mel Watt for the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Gina McCarthy for the job of administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:51am
Wed Jul 17, 2013

Consumer Advocates Demand Congress End Farm Bill Subsidies To Food Additive Production, Corporate Farms

If lawmakers are interested in cutting costs during the 2013 reauthorization of the farm bill, they should reduce wasteful spending on subsidies that support processed food additives and already profitable agribusiness corporations, according to members of the consumer advocacy group, U.S. PIRG.

“The way our subsidies are distributed right now is a strong example of how skewed our system is,” said Dani Neuharth-Keusch, assistant community outreach director for Illinois PIRG, who spoke at a press conference Tuesday to release the nationwide research group’s new report, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.”

Federally subsidized crop insurance is intended to help farmers manage the risk inherent to their business. According to the report, the current farm bill, enacted in 2008, fails to “appropriately direct federal dollars” with subsidies that “mirror a pattern of special interest influence.”

“We need to push back against subsidies skewed toward big agribusiness and inadequate subsides for fresh produce,” said Neuharth-Keusch.

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